I and Me
This post introduces the second tool in the introspection toolkit. It is the first out of five interrelated tools which focus on developing awareness of our psychological processes.
Here is a visual representation of the tools:
I have been aware of some of these concepts since my early twenties, but for me, my understanding of these ideas did not crystallise until I spent a period of time visiting a councillor. Working with my councillor we explored the innerworkings of my mind, and in doing so equipped me with the knowledge to take full ownership of my mental processes.
The way I will present this information is quite atomised. That is simply for ease of articulation and consumption. The true reality is that all of these processes influence each other and not just that, they will play out in subtly different ways for each human.
The intention of my articles on these subjects it to help you develop awareness of, and then accept, full responsibility for your inner world.
Think of it this way, all I can help you to do is sow the seeds. You need to water your garden and help it grow.
Please also consider these insights as a bridge; once you become aware of the processes at play and have crossed to the other side, you no longer need the bridge. You can then explore on your own and evolve your own personal understanding of your inner world.
What is it?
This tool is I and Me. This is a tool of awareness.
Developing an awareness of I, and knowing the difference between I and me will help you better understand the different forces that are at play in your internal world.
Think if this as an entry way which will enable you to view your mental processes from a new expanded perspective. A perspective where you can comprehend the whole.
How does it work?
You are I.
When you are I, you are truly conscious.
There is also a me in your mind, but me is not you.
Me is nothing but your own perception of you.
Here is an example: when you are sat looking at a beautiful sunset, being present in the moment, enjoying the colours and the feeling of the last rays of sunshine kissing your face; you are I.
Later that evening when you think about being sat there enjoying the sunset, you are remembering your perception of the situation and you (I) are thinking about you (me) sitting there. The experience is in the past. When you reflect in this way, you are moving in to the realm of psychological time. Me is the perception of you that exists outside of your present conscious awareness.
The distinction can be even more subtle; using the same example of enjoying a sunset, the moment that you start to think “wow, I am enjoying this sunset”, you are no longer actually enjoying it. You (I) is thinking about me (your past memory of you from a previous moment) enjoying it. I is not doing the enjoying anymore.
Me is the past, and the past has no impact on the choices we make in the present moment; that is, if we choose for it not to!
Agents and Levels
To allow us to understand why this definition of me exists, we will create a foundation of understanding by looking at some of the key features within the construct of the human psyche.
I am going to use the analogy of a forest help define the relationships between the different levels and agents that are at play.
Levels of the Human Psyche
Think of levels as different layers of energy within the human psyche.
Bedrock – Unconscious
The bed rock of the forest is the deep foundation which supports the soils and everything above. The bed rock is solid and cannot be changed. Over time as you become aware of the bed rock you will learn how to establish equilibrium between it, the soils and the forest.
Soil – Preconscious
The soil is a much smaller part of the forest than the bedrock. It is a thin layer (still pretty thick, but thin in comparison to the bedrock) that exists underneath the forest floor. If you choose to, you can dig in to the soil and take action to change its composition. The soil needs to be able to support the roots which will grow from the seeds that you sow. It is the canvas that enables you to architect the forest of your life.
The Forest – Conscious
This is the conscious part of your psyche and is the entry point for the energetic connection that you experience with the universe in the present moment. This is where you think, feel and live.
As an artistic architect, if the soil is your canvas, the forest is your paint.
The Sky and the Stars – Superconscious
This is where your vitality connections to the vitality of the universe.
The healthier your forest, the higher it will grow, and the closer it will be to the stars.
What Does all this mean?
In the next Thursday article, we will start to explore the agents at play within the different levels of the human psyche.
Thinking of the levels as layers of energy, you could consider the agents to be collections of energy which flow between the different layers.
More to come…
Enjoy, for now.